Organization at home or at work is an age-old challenge. Some people simply don’t care about being organized but some of us put an extreme amount of work and effort into doing so.
I work in a small office which is essentially a cubicle. It’s a very small footprint which is really OK with me. I love my cubicle and enjoy organizing it to suit my needs. If I had my choice between an open office vs cubicle working environment I’ll take my cubicle any day! I am always exploring various small office organization ideas that I can incorporate into my work area.
I’ve written many different articles about effectively working in a small office so I think I know a few things about setting up an organized small office. I have searched high and low for accessories for my cubicle that certainly work in my workplace environment.
The image seen here is actually MY cubicle after I had to recently move into a new area of my company. The steps identified below are my cubicle organization ideas from years of experience but you could have other suggestions. There are many different ideas for organizing your small office.
10 Simple Steps to Organize a Small Office
The assumption I am making is that you want to organize an existing small office. If you are moving into a new office the job is a lot easier as you won’t have to declutter your existing workspace.
1. Pick up Some Boxes Before you Start
It is fairly easy to find boxes without having to pay for them. You can go to a local liquor store or food store and ask them if you can have some extra boxes. Depending on the amount of stuff you have on your desktop and in your drawers and overhead bins, this will dictate how many boxes you need to get. It can’t hurt to get a few extra just in case.
You many want to perform this exercise on a weekend or early in the morning before working hours or after-hours because it could take a few hours.
2. Clean off your Desktop and Place the Contents in a Box
Carefully mark each box with what is inside. Just use a magic marker and write Desktop on top of the box or on the side. At this point your whole desktop is clean.
3. Thoroughly Clean your Desktop
If you need to utilize some dust and lint remover canisters use those as well.
I always have both of these products available to me throughout the day. In fact, I regularly use these products during the week and I always identify one day during the week where I thoroughly clean my work area.
4. Clean out your Drawers and Place the Contents in a Box
This is pretty much the same concept as above. If you need to you can have a separate small box for each drawer but I don’t think there is a need for that. Just use a brute-force cleaning of everything in your drawers and place them in box or boxes. Easy as pie.
5. Clean the Inside of your Drawers with Cleaning Supplies
Just as you did with your desktop, while your drawers are cleaned out simply use a little bit of both the Lysol disinfectant wipes and the dust and lint remover canisters, get the bottom of those drawers nice and clean. This is a process and cleaning everything out and making them spotless will give you a good cleansing feeling.
6. Clean out your Overhead Bins and Place Contents in a Box
I am assuming that your small office could be a cubicle. Typically a cubicle has what is called an overhead bin which is simply an additional shelf above the desktop with a door that opens upward. I typically use this area as a bookshelf but I also place a lot of other items in there just to keep them out of the way.
The idea is to remove everything from this area and place them also in a box.
7. Clean the Inside of your Overhead Bins
Now you have a clean slate as far as your small office or cubicle is concerned. If you think of a painter, you now have a blank canvas upon which you can start painting an organized picture!
8. Purge Items from the Desktop, Drawers, and Overhead Bin Boxes
This is the purging portion of the exercise. You will have to look closely into each box and weed out any items which are not needed in your working environment. Remember, this is a small office so you need to be very discerning about what you really need.
It doesn’t necessarily mean you need to throw out items that you don’t need in your work area. You could move them offsite (maybe bring them home or into a storage closet at work) in the short-term just by keeping the non-utilized items in the boxes. After a while you will have a better understanding what you need and what you don’t need. You can always add back to your small office any items that you moved offsite.
This exercise will certainly teach you how to organize desk drawers properly and essentially every area of your small office or cubicle.
9. Place only Items you Need Back into your Small Office
This is essentially the final, most important, step. From each box take only what you need and place it the items back onto your desktop, into your drawers, and into your overhead bin. You can also make it a point to clean each item as well with the Lysol disinfectant wipes and the dust and lint remover canisters. And don’t forget to consider work desk decor when it comes to what you end up keeping in your office.
If you performed all of the above steps in order, you should now have a clean and organized desktop, drawers, and overhead bin!
10. Perform Regular Maintenance
This is an extremely important step as well. Target a time and day each week such as Friday afternoons and maintain each area. Remove any new non-needed items off of your desktop or in your drawers or overhead bin so that they don’t accumulate over time.
Perform a thorough cleaning of your desktop using the Lysol disinfectant wipes. Blow out your keyboard using the dust and lint remover canisters and anything else in your office which requires regular maintenance.
You should now have an organized small office but you can always be on the lookout for cubicle storage options or more cubicle organization ideas for your small office, especially if it is a cubicle. Another great way to move items off of your desktop in order to stay organized is to look into various cubicle hangers and cubicle hooks that are available. I try to utilize every inch of my small office to enhance my working area and using the walls is a great option!
I hope this article helps you out in organizing your small office. There are too many disadvantages of open plan office design so be happy that you have a designated private workspace all your own. I have utilized the steps above multiple times during moves in my working career and the process has stood the test of time!
Bob has been blogging for over 20 years and has been an office and cubicle dweller for more than 35 years. He has been featured in numerous online publications such as US News and World Report, Bustle, and Work Awesome (you can read his articles here). He created the popular office website CubicleBliss in January 2011 and rebranded it as WorkspaceBliss in April 2020.
In the office he’s been an IT Manager, Applications Engineer, Systems Analyst, Software Project leader, and Programmer Analyst in his long career. He’s a Certified Microsoft Professional and possesses a Masters of Science degree and two Bachelor of Science degrees, one of those in Informational Technology.
During his career he has worked in the office full-time, as a hybrid remote worker, and has worked from home permanently.